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Posts tagged: orchestral

Shaken but not stirred – Wellington Chamber Orchestra’s “Peter and the Wolf” and other delights

This concert was very well attended, the audience including many children, despite its not being advertised on RNZ Concert’s “Live Diary”, or the fact that the NZSO performed one of the works the previous afternoon at a free concert at Te Papa. The Gabrieli works featured brass instruments only. The nature of the work and the instruments employed were described by Andrew Joyce, and the instruments were demonstrated by their... read more

Edo de Waart and Ronald Brautigam confirm stature: symphonic conductor and Mozartian pianist

By , 29/10/2016
Ronald Brautigam’s is not exactly a household name and his performance history is impressively confined largely to Mozart and Beethoven, though not always in performances with high profile conductors or orchestras. Most of his playing is on the fortepiano of the age of Mozart and early Beethoven. While that partly explains his relative obscurity to the popular audience, it doesn’t detract from his high reputation among those who take their... read more

Orchestra Wellington’s fifth concert excels with last works of Berlioz, Bartok and Tchaikovsky (almost)

By , 15/10/2016
This was the once-a-year event for the young musicians involved with the Hutt Valley Arohanui Strings, the project inspired by the famous Venezuelan institution, El Sistema. They filed in after some of Orchestra Wellington’s players had taken their seats: the more advanced ones taking seats alongside a professional player as mentor; the beginners spread across the front of the stage – some of them looked aged about four. They... read more

America: NZSO performances of brilliant new violin concerto plus Dvořák in New York and Reich in minimalist heaven

By , 08/10/2016
Once upon a time to have scheduled the New World Symphony would have guaranteed a pretty full house in spite of its being accompanied by unfamiliar music. But sometimes I think that as the years pass, the general public is becoming, not more open and adventurous, and simply ‘well-informed’ in the arts, and music too, but less in all those spheres. And there are various reasons: slavery to the flat... read more

High drama, pastoral beauty and symphonic grandeur from the WCO with Michael Vinten

By , 25/09/2016
It’s always fascinating to encounter the efforts of musicians who aren’t full-time professional players literally throwing themselves wholeheartedly at music that’s challenging and difficult, however well-known it might seem. I can claim to having had some limited but nevertheless exhilarating experience as such a player in an amateur orchestra, in another life! – what a pleasure it was, that of being able to listen “from the inside” to various... read more

Schubert’s “Great”, and Mahler-Berg connections explored brilliantly by Wilma Smith and Orchestra Wellington

In his introductory remarks about each work to be played, Marc Taddei referred to the poignant use of the Bach chorale ‘Ich habe genug’, by Alban Berg in the latter part of his violin concerto, the second item on the programme.  He said ‘Wouldn’t it be good if there was a way to let you hear that’.  He turned away from the audience, and up popped a choir from... read more

Orchestra Wellington, Orpheus Choir, clarinet in brilliant Mozartian form

By , 20/08/2016
To put together programmes celebrating periods in a composer’s life has been made pretty easy by the conscientious compilers of catalogues, either by musicologists or by the composers themselves. Some have been catalogued in more sophisticated ways, by genre of composition which leads to an elaborate system like that of Haydn by Hoboken (not the suburb of Antwerp).  But it’s not hard to list the ‘last words’ of Mozart There’s... read more

NZSO and Christiane Libor in wonderful Strauss songs and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony

By , 06/08/2016
It might have been possible to blame a rival entertainment or the wet and chilly weather for the rather loosely packed audience for a concert that I’d expected to have a ‘full house’ notice at the door. One might also wonder whether it’s a reflection on the slow decline of musical tastes, and that those of us who were brought up with a certain amount of great music in... read more

Diverting, accomplished, baroque concert from Auckland’s NZBarok on a cold night

Formerly known as AKBarok, this Auckland group was making its first visit to Wellington, though it has been in existence for 14 years!  It was a welcome visit, with an audience almost filling the downstairs and half-filling the gallery at St. Andrews, this despite the night being wet and perhaps the coldest of the year.  It was a pleasure to find the gallery open; it is not always for... read more

“Orchestras Unite” – a brilliant success for youthful Wellington musicians

By , 03/08/2016

These days I count myself proudly, if also a little ruefully, among the grey-headed majority who attend classical concerts – of course, these are the people whose loyal and continued support of our various concert series and occasional special events helps to ensure their continuance. Nevertheless it was a refreshing change to find myself sitting in an auditorium for a classical concert with what seemed like hundreds of... read more

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